Thursday, November 21, 2013

Addressing her Grandma Moses Christmas Cards

My mother worked nights as a nurse in the ER and from about a week before Thanksgiving up to the 2nd week in December boxes of  Christmas cards went with her to the hospital. Some nights she never had time for them. That's when she would come home when her shift was over and address a few. It was her way of unwinding.

My mother was very organized. She had a special box where she kept the list of names she intended to send cards to, sheets of postal stamps-each with the same Christmas image, a telephone book, and decorated Christmas seals she would lick and adhere to the fronts of the envelopes-the last step before having my father take the cards to the post office to be mailed. Organizing the list took her a long time. She'd have to make calls to relatives for updates to some. I loved looking at the list. It would be all scribbles; some names crossed out and some new ones added. She had the neatest penmanship-very small letters but very legible.

The Christmas cards my mother sent year after year most always featured Grandma Moses artwork. My mother loved the artwork. There was a little store downtown that was part bookstore and part gift shop. It was a ritual for her to go there to pick out her Christmas cards and then go next door to Woolworths or Newberry's for the Christmas seals. Sometimes I went with her.

 Besides sending cards, my mother enjoyed receiving them. She'd open each one as if it was a present. She'd read the inscription-and sometimes make a remark or two. She always made sure my father knew who sent them cards. That way he could say thanks if he ran into them. Later she displayed some of the cards; kept others in a basket. I can't imagine how many hours my mother put into her Christmas cards-from selecting them to organizing the list-to addressing them and licking the stamps and seals. She never complained. Christmas cards were important back then-as much a part of the Season as was getting the tree-another tradition planned and executed to perfection as only my mother could.


  1. I don't think people send as many cards now as they used to. I suppose the internet has changed a lot of things. I still love sending cards. I hate letting go of the old fashioned ways. Thanks again for the good memories.

    1. I too love sending cards-but I'm not as organized as my mother and my list is not as long as hers.